Hermann aldermen to consider occupancy permitting proposal

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 5/11/22

HERMANN — Hermann City Hall is considering the adoption of occupancy permits, a move that would require inspections of all dwelling units when they change occupants.

The move is one of …

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Hermann aldermen to consider occupancy permitting proposal

Posted

HERMANN — Hermann City Hall is considering the adoption of occupancy permits, a move that would require inspections of all dwelling units when they change occupants.

The move is one of several developments taking place within the county seat community, according to City Administrator Patricia Heaney in an update last week to the Hermann Regional Economic Development (HRED) Board of Directors.

Hermann has never had an ordinance requiring an occupancy permit, she noted. “There are a couple of aldermen who would like to adopt such a thing,” Heaney said.

Requiring occupancy permits would bring Hermann in line with New Haven, with whom Hermann shares a building inspector.

In other matters, Heaney said the city has two annexations being developed, one of which would clear the way for construction of housing units in a town in dire need of housing. Aldermen also are set to take action on an ordinance covering the operation of food trucks, the city administrator said.

An ordinance covering food trucks has generated considerable discussion in Hermann during the past year. Operators of the mobile eateries want to tap into Hermann’s tourism market while local restaurants worry about the trucks encroaching on their business. Heaney suggested that adopting an ordinance will prove less dramatic that has been characterized in discussions.

“It’s really just about a permit and a license,” she said.

Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melissa Lensing noted that Hermann has been nominated — along with about 20 other communities — to be highlighted by the Missouri Humanities Council. The winning city will be announced later in the year.

Also, the Chamber will be sponsoring a workshop in September on creating entrepreneurial communities. The project also involves the county’s University of Missouri Extension Office.

“I want to encourage the (HRED directors) and local business leaders to consider coming to it,” Lensing said.

Gasconade County R-1 School District Superintendent Geoff Neill, also a member of the HRED board, reported that district officials continue to closely watch state legislative efforts regarding a proposed increase to the base pay for teachers across the state. There’s an effort in in the state capital to raise the base pay for all teachers to $38,000 a year. Neill said that in the R-1 district, there a fewer than 15 employees earning less than $38,000.

The superintendent said he’s concerned that the source of the money the state is proposing to help fund the teacher pay raise is not sustainable. State lawmakers are considering using some of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocated to the state for the increase on a 70-30 matching basis with local districts.

“This is not a dedicated revenue source,” Neill said. “I’m afraid we’re building a cliff for 2024 or 2025,” he added, referring to the time when the ARPA money has been used. All of the ARPA money has to be committed for use by 2024 with the money being spent by the end of 2026.

R-1 administrators are planning for a raise in pay for teachers, but finishing that portion of the upcoming operating budget has been sidelined as the final version of the state’s budget is crafted. “Everything we’re doing is on hold until the legislative session ends,” Neill said.

This year’s Missouri General Assembly session ends Friday.

Hospital talks continue

Hermann Area District Hospital (HADH) Administrator Dan McKinney told the directors that talks are continuing with a private agency to manage the hospital. “It’s progressing, but it’s progressing slowly,” he said.

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